DEADLY flesh-eating mice are threatening to wipe out some of the world’s rarest birds on a precious wildlife paradise run by Britain.
Plagues of hungry rodents are killing up to 600,000 birds a year on one of the UK’s 30 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Conservationists warned today that Gough Island in the South Atlantic is in danger of losing its prestigious status – a standing that puts it on par with the Great Barrier Reef, Yellowstone National Park and the Galapagos archipelago – unless the carnivorous mice are not wiped out.
Britain has 30 World Heritage Sites, including Stonehenge, the Giant’s Causeway and Blenheim Palace as well as four overseas, but there are mounting fears for the future of Gough Island’s status because of the mice infestation.
A new report timed to coincide with the 40th World Heritage Committee meeting is revealing how the mice are causing massive breeding failure in most of the seabird colonies, including the threatened Atlantic petrel and the critically endangered Tristan albatross, now down to its last 2,000 pairs.